I love deathcore so, when I first saw this video, I felt it was a bit of an unfair representation of the genre but, I got to admit it’s pretty funny and well done. Deathcore fan and Youtube user, Zero_Life_Left, put together a compilation of the genre’s similarities and the results are shocking!… Just kidding, you shouldn’t be surprised by this at all. If you have ever heard Deathcore, you would know it has some common themes to it. Slow choppy breakdowns using the “dotted crotchet” being the emphasis of this video. The video calls out several bands including, Oceano, Towers, Thy Art is Murder, Traitors, Volumes, The Acacia Strain. Deathcore, like most genres of music, have patterns and characteristics that are unique to them.
What is going on here and what the hell is a “dotted crotchet”?
The video quickly mentions the dotted crotchet, a fun musical term that basically means an extended note. A dotted crotchet, commonly referred to as the dotted note, is a note plus half of it’s value. If you had a half note with a dot at the end, you would hold that note an additional quarter note.
Deathcore breakdowns use the quarter note plus an eighth note. This makes each chug of the guitar, a beat and a half. The extended note over a 4/4 drum beat gives bands room for different variations of guitar and drum patterns. The extended note along with different variations of guitar palm muted chugs give the genre its signature breakdown sound.
Does Deathcore Sound the Same?
First let’s take a step back and realize that deathcore is a subgenre created by fusing bigger subgenres together. Eventually at some point in order for something to be considered a subgenre of a subgenre, there are going to be some similarities.
So does it sound the same?
Sure, those similarities are what make it fucking deathcore.
People Like Patterns
People crave patterns in music. Let’s take a look at pop music, who literally has this down to a science. There is a particular phrasing that is super trendy right now and it’s been coined “The Millenial Whoop”. It’s a short repeating melody of fifth and third notes in the major scale. Usually in the form of a “Woah-oh-oh-oh” vocal line.
I’ll spare you the Carly Rae Jepsen and Nikki Minaj examples.
Twenty One Pilots – Ride. Listen at the 0:48 mark.
You hear a new song with this pattern and it feels like an old friend. This is perfect for commercial success but, metal is different, right? Metal is supposed to make you feel uncomfortable, right? Metal will always have the tendency to make surrounding, involuntary listeners uncomfortable. It will also never have the same commercial coverage and acceptance as pop music. It will still always rely on patterns that us metalheads look for and enjoy. Deathcore just happens to have the dotted crotchet. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a good breakdown?